When I heard author Amitav Ghosh's perception of Bomra's as ''If this was in New York, there would be a line along the block'' I knew my trip to Goa would be incomplete without a meal there. That's the reputation earned by Bawmra Jap, the London-trained Burmese gentleman who grew up in Rangoon, and has been earning rave reviews for his contemporary take on Asian cuisine.
With expectation and anticipation in mind, we walked into Bomra's, a chic eatery tucked into a quiet courtyard on the Fort Aguada Road in Candolim, and were seated at a table lit with the soft glow of a lantern. Perusing the menu, I can now say the description of the dishes don't come close to describing the intensity of flavours that await! Hmmm. So dinner began with 'Bomra's Special' — vodka-based cocktail with lemongrass and ginger. This was accompanied by 'Pickled Tealeaf Salad' with dried shrimp; the chef had blended it with a flavourful fish sauce that was both refreshing and stimulating.. nothing like I've tasted before! For entrees, we chose 'Slow cooked belly pork with cashew nut crust' and 'Snapper with lemon grass, chili, fish sauce' with a side order of steamed rice presented in a cane serving dish. The snapper was first to arrive, steamed to perfection in a light broth laced with lemongrass, hint of chilli, fish sauce. It was so fresh I was sure it was 'catch of the hour'! A must-try if you're a seafood aficionado! Up next was the pork belly with cashew crust, served with lentils, spinach-apple chutney. You should've seen the transformative look on my face with a satiated grin, repeating it was awesome! The meat was tender and flavourful and each forkful dissolved in the mouth.
I didn't have room for dessert but it was an instinct I must try it; after all if the food was so superlative… how good would the dessert be? Perusing the menu again, I observed the selection was impressive, with 'coconut and jackfruit panacota'; 'lemongrass and ginger crème brûlée'; 'spiced poached figs and frozen yoghurt'. I had the crème brûlée — and that was it. Heaven in a bowl! My last thoughts? Bawmra Jap knows what he's doing and the growing number of discerning foodies each day are proving it. For a first class taste of Asia that's priced at economy fare, I highly recommend visiting Bomra's. Go alone; go with your beau; go with friends and family. Either way the management will make you feel so welcome there is a good chance you will not head anyplace else for the duration of your stay in Goa. Bon appetite!
— JASMEEN DUGAL
Photographs — BOMRAS
247, Aguada-Siolim Road, Fort Aquada Road, Souza Vaddo, Candolim, Goa